MUPPETS MOST WANTED // Losing most of the magic instilled by the 2011 reboot of “The Muppets” and even with three years between productions, “Muppets Most Wanted” still feels like a lesser quality product with less humor and less soul. Do not get me wrong, I am entirely happy just to see the Muppets back in action on the big screen and will obviously take what I can get from every single one of the iconic characters. But where “The Muppets” had the competent ‘let’s get the band back together’ story-line and a human cast boasting Jason Segal, Amy Adams, and Chris Cooper, “Muppets Most Wanted” takes a left turn as they take their show on the road to Europe, containing a human cast that I view as second tier actors with Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, and Tina Fey. The Muppets do return to their caper roots, with Kermit being mistaken for the British criminal mastermind, Constantine, who looks exactly like Kermit except for a mole on his upper lip. With Kermit in a Russian prison and the gang unaware of the switch, Constantine and his follower Dominic Badguy (Gervais) steal precious jewels all along the Muppets’ European Tour. With a lack of the musical number brilliance from “The Muppets” and a screenplay that barely goes through the motions, where Segal’s passion project involved fans of all ages, “Muppets Most Wanted” feels oriented towards small children and no one else. Regardlessly, a second rate Muppets movie is better than no Muppets movie at all.
[Directed by James Bobin] [PG] [107 min] [21 March 2014]